Medical Ethics Harootunian 9/19/11 1 The Three Branches of Ethics –Part 2 As I noted last time, the philosophical study of ethics is typically divided into three branches: 1) Normative Ethics a) Normative Ethics of Behavior (NEB) b) Axiology 2) Meta-Ethics 3) Applied Ethics Today, I will discuss axiology, the second branch of normative ethics. On Wednesday, I will discuss meta-ethics and applied ethics. Since we didn’t finish discussing all of the material on the handout from the last class, today’s handout is shorter than usual. b) Axiology Axiology’s Primary Questions of Focus: What makes something valuable? What makes something good or bad? What kinds of good and bad are there? Axiology seeks to identify the features or characteristicsthat make something good or bad. The object of evaluation in axiology is a state of affairs,or a possible world, or a human life,or a person’s character. A state of affairsis a partial specification of a way the world is or could be –it’s
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